Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Re-View - Ketaki Sheth's Response, Contours and Volumes, Privation and more..


Ketaki Sheth Responds to TAD Review of Her Show

(Photographer Ketaki Sheth with her book 'A Certain Grace - The Sidi - Indians of African Descent')

I am writing to say that neither NGMA nor Photoink nor I have consciously omitted the word Muslim in my wall text. If you read Mahmood Mamdani's outstanding introduction in my book published by Photoink or the text in the NGMA booklet distributed at the Gallery you will see that the Sidi of Gujarat who are the main subjects of my photographs, are Sufi by faith. Their ancestral Saint is Bava Gor (he is said to have studied with Rifa'i Sufis earning from their leader the honorific title Baba Ghaur (Arabic: "revered master of deep meditation") around whom their lives circulate.  I quote Mahmood both above and here when he says: "The Sidi have retained something of their African spiritual world in the form of musical instruments, dances and spirit possession cults. At the same time, this spiritual heritage has been their point of entry into the world of Sufism." Mahmood Mamdani as you know is an authority on African studies both at Makrere University in Kampala where he is director and at Columbia University where he teaches anthropology, political science and African studies.  Respected both in India and overseas, he is an African of Indian descent and a leading authority on the subject.
( A photograph on display at the show)
The Sidi Royalty who have married out of the community and into prominent Muslim families have not been photographed by me because there is already a book that exists on them(African Elites in India/ Kenneth Rogers/Mapin Publishing). However, Mahmood has interviewed them for the introduction as any history on the Sidi would be incomplete without them. (the intro has images by me of the Janjira and Sachin royal family members) The Sidi of Goa and Karnataka are mainly of Christian faith and there are some Hindus too.
From my travels over the past five years I have learned that  the majority of contemporary Sidi live between Gujarat (mainly Sufi) and Karnataka(mostly Christian and some Hindu).

(Ketaki Sheth’s response to TAD review of her show, The Sidi - Indians of African Descent on at the NGMA, New Delhi) 


Contours and Volumes
( A work on display at the show)
National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai presents a show of two legendary sculptors. Last year was the centenary year of sculptor Prodosh Das Gupta and the eightieth year of sculptor Sarbari Roy Choudhury. The Ministry of Culture, Akar Prakar and Piramal Foundation for the Arts jointly present the show ‘Contours and Volumes’ to bring to the fore the unique works of the sculptors.

The show pays homage to the bronze works on display which range across a variety of dimensions from classical human-figures of Prodosh Das Gupta’s 'Surya Mukhi' to table-sized formats in the works of Sarbari Roy Choudhury.

The duo, Prodosh Dasgupta and Sarbari Roy Choudhury are known for their ingenuity in creating engaging sculptures with plasticity of form. Their show derives its name from the essential start point of the creative force behind the sculptures. 
The show is on view from 25th of September 2013 to the 23rd October 2013.

Colours of Hinterland
( A work on display at the show)
Crimson -the art Resource presents a group art show titled, ‘ Colours of Hinterland’. This exhibition showcases paintings by a number of eminent contemporary artists, like Avinash Thaker, Baqlu Sadalge, Dhan Prasad,  Jasu Rawal, JMS Mani and KC Murukesan among many others.
All these artists have displayed their different and distinct styles of creative expression on canvas and paper. There are passionate portraitures of stark realities and there are haunting imageries of realities and urban existential living and the artists’ interpretations of life.

The show is on view till 5th October 2013.

Horn in the Head

( A work by sculptor Navjot Altaf)
Talwar art gallery, New Delhi presents an exhibition of exquisite works of eminent sculptor Navjot Altaf. The collection on display is titled,‘Horn in the Head’ and is a collection of Navjot’s new and recent works foraying into wooden sculptures.

Navjot has been working for over a decade on this one project and the show promises some exclusively sculpted works.

Navjot is known for her large multi medium works, which are interactive and video works and installations based on socio political subject matters.

The show is on from 27th September 2013 to the 7th of December 2013.

The Privation Show
(A work by Ajay Kurian on display)
Jhaveri Contemporary art gallery, Mumbai, presents an exhibition titled 'Privation' displaying the works of artist  Ajay Kurian. 
On show are the works of the artist made using various materials like ghee, linen and gold. Also, there will be discs of burnt bread with the fire - gnarled face of Janus along with the boxes of a local curry of Kerala. 
Ajay Kurian is a BA in visual art and art history from Columbia University. He is known for organising various solo as well as group exhibitions around the world.

The show is on till 13th October 2013.

(News reports by Sushma Sabnis)

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